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Analysis

The Eidolon

Symbol Analysis

This is another important image that's a little scary and a little mysterious too. Even after we've figured out that an Eidolon is a phantom (don't worry, we had to look it up too), that still doesn't tell us much about what it would look like. Still, that's not really the point, is it? Poe is trying to establish a feeling here, and this dark spirit, sitting on his throne, is the perfect ruler for this weird world.

  • Lines 3-4: We learn three things about the Eidolon here. First, his name is "NIGHT," which is scary in itself, but given that it's all in caps too, we're pretty sure Poe wants us to be impressed by this guy. Second, he rules Dream-Land from a black throne (scarier still). Last, he's sitting "upright." That's kind of a funny detail to put in there, but for us at least, it creates a really strong image. Suddenly we can see a terrifying ghost sitting straight up in his throne. A spirit king with bad posture would be way less scary.
  • Lines 53-4: Another refrain. The Eidolon crops up again, and like the ill angels, he's still kind of a mystery. In a way, he guards the two ends of the poem, and of the speaker's journey. He was there when we entered Dream-Land, and he's watching over us as we leave too.

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